Sticky Ickies, Every One. (My Byron Katie Detox, Part Nine)

In none of the Byron Katie books, videos and articles I’ve encountered has Katie ever advised someone to do inquiry on a pleasing thought. Though she teaches that nothing is ultimately true and our life experiences are all an illusion, if a thought makes us feel good, she says, just leave it alone. In her words: “I say keep it and have a wonderful life.” (–Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life)

I like her honesty here. Hey, it’s not the truth, but who cares? If it ain’t broken, don’t get out the hammer! But I also like the idea of questioning all my beliefs, not just my stressful ones. If I never rethink my underlying principles, how will I grow?

I love a challenge. Always have, always will. And so, I present last month’s Work on the belief that I discussed in the past few installations of this serial, namely, people are holy.

A Byron Katie Worksheet

Month Completed: August

The Statement: People are holy.

The Questions:

Is it true? Yes.

Can I absolutely know it is true? No.

How do I feel when I think the thought? I feel a lot of love for other people, a lot of forgiveness, and self-love and self-forgiveness, too.

How would I feel if I were unable to think the thought? I would feel as I used to feel: ashamed for every mistake I ever made.

The Turnarounds: People are unholy. People are sinful. People are bad. Or: People are not holy, because there is no such thing as holiness. People are just what they are–good, bad or indifferent.

So again, is it true? Yes and no. It’s true for me. But an atheist may not like the word “holy.” They may prefer a similar but different sentiment, or not agree with it at all.

And with that I conclude the first Byron Katie failure of this series. However, it’s a qualified failure. And one that I welcome.

The qualified part: I like the reminder that some people don’t believe there is such a thing as holiness. Words matter, and to an atheist or an agnostic, the word may be worse than misleading or baggage-laden. It may be plain wrong. Even Byron Katie, a person who doesn’t consider herself spiritual, would likely see the complications with a word like this. However, for me, the belief still rings true. Like I said, this Byron Katie failure is one that I welcome.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to let go of this spiritual belief–or any of my other ones, either. Questioning them is an exercise in humility, a way to put myself in someone’s else’s head–someone with a perspective that’s different from my own. When it comes to my painful beliefs, though, I’m far less detached.

I want to get rid of them–and fast.

Last month I wrote about some of the progress I’ve made during my detox, particularly in the area of my relationships. I told you about how after doing The Work on a close friend I was able to let go of some criticism and judgment. The good news since then is that this trend has continued; whenever I do The Work on another person, I see progress. The not-so-good news is that the areas I feel I need the most help in don’t concern other people. They concern myself.

And when I do The Work on myself, change seems slower.

Here are some of the thoughts I’ve questioned regarding my life and attitudes that continued coming back, despite repeated attempts at inquiry:

  • I hate washing dishes.
  • I’m sick of cooking dinner every day.
  • Parenting is difficult.
  • I’m sick of holding the baby all the time.
  • I want to be accomplishing more.
  • I have no energy.
  • I’m feeling compulsive about food.
  • I want everyone to leave me alone.
  • I am feeling sad.
  • I am feeling annoyed.

Yeah. Sticky ickies, every one.

In all, I did the Work on twenty thoughts in August. Added to the 25 in July, the 34 in June and the 47 in May (before I officially started my detox), I’ve put in a decent effort (though I could’ve done better). And yet, as I reflect on what I’ve learned so far, it’s hard to assess where I’m at. I know the process is working–at least some of the time. But is it healing me deeply? Is it getting at the root of my depression? What I’m hoping for this year is a fundamental change in who I am, in how I feel inside my own head. I don’t want to just get rid of certain obsessive thoughts only to see them be replaced by new ones; I want to notice a major reduction in the frequency of all stressful thoughts, period.

In other words: I really want more inner peace.

Am I on my way? I’m not sure.

Read the rest of the series at My Byron Katie Detox: One Year of Questioning My Unhelpful Thoughts.

***

Buy stuff on Amazon and support this blog. Easy enough, right? Just click here. Anything you buy counts.

***

More to Read:

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday

Knowledge Checklists: Filling My Educational Gaps, One Subject at a Time

200 Spiritual Practice Success Stories

Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Novel

4 comments

  1. Well, I think that most of the stay home moms will have almost all of your thoughts, even the stay at home dads.
    Before having my daughter I used to go to work very long days, longer than I work after being a mom. Use to come home and clean my clean house. In the morning cook the breakfast and dinner at night for 10 years for me and my husband.
    after having my daughter, i needed to be home earlier because someone has to take care of her, so not working outside so long but coming home to cook, clean after all her messes, take care of her, play, listen, read, etc. The difference, no free time. no time to rest. Being a parent is a 24 hours job, as soon as you are home you are mom. Mom for this, mom for that. mom for everything.
    So even I stop working for so long outside the house,coming home earlier, at home I have more work than ever before.
    The difference, before I use to come home late, took a peaceful bath , cook dinner while connecting with my husband in an adult conversation, going late to bed to read a book. all that was over, and of course, the cooking in peace was over too. So solution, I stop cooking. I told my husband, ok, your turn. I cooked for 10 years for both of us, now your turn to cook for us for the next ten years. It worked. I still have two more years before going back to cooking again.

    1. It is such a different life. But I can’t imagine it any other way. My practice is to daily find the thoughts that recognize the beauty in it all.

  2. Stick with Pam Grout here. I believe she would tell you that it is all perfect and “holy”. If you don’t care for what’s happening, then change it, don’t think about the how, just manifest. Works for her. I do understand. I have my moments, but I am so much happier 98% of the time that it’s not worth it to me to challenge my happy thoughts and not really worth challenging the others – I just begin manifesting the others into what I wish.
    Just a thought.
    Scott

COMMENTS